Ranked in the 226-250 bracket in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-14 announced in London, Panjab University (PU) is ranked 32 in Asia. But besides the fact that PU is the best among Indian universities - even leaving behind the IITs - it is also the best in Asia when it comes to its research being cited in journals and studies across the world.
PU's score for citation, 84.7 on a scale of 100, is higher than the University of Tokyo, Japan, which has been otherwise ranked 1 in Asia and has a world ranking of 23 as per the study. Tokyo's citation score is 69.8. The citation score was based on the frequency with which research of those from PU was used by other researchers.
While the overall score for PU is withheld, thus not giving the exact rank yet, the survey website shows that the varsity has been awarded 25.8 for teaching, 29.3 for international outlook, 28.4 for industry income, a meagre 14 for research work but 84.7 for citations. This was the first time that PU had applied for this survey, which is based on data made available by institutions for the period 2007-11.
On Friday, the faculty as well as the students at PU celebrated the ranking. An elated vice-chancellor (V-C) Arun Kumar Grover told HT, "One has to apply for such a survey, and we had supplied all the required information, based on which we were evaluated on 13 parameters. Now the challenge is to go higher on the chart." The focus is now on research and hiring faculty, as the varsity has been facing a crunch.
Grover noted that the senate has approved the template for appointment of assistant professors, and about 250 posts would be advertised "at regular intervals, starting in a week".
About fund crunch, he said, "Punjab government has regularly been paying us `20 crore a year, and whatever demand we make from time to time is being approved by the state. Funds are required all the time, and we are working towards generating them. Also, to improve the quality of research we are going ahead with honours schools."
A major reason for the cheer at PU is that it has left behind premium Indian Institutes of Technology, including IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Roorkee. All those three have been given a ranking in the 351-400 bracket in the British newspaper's survey.